Rain curtails West Indies chase

A series of increasingly heavy showers caused the third and final ODI in St Lucia to be abandoned, leaving West Indies 2-0 winners of a series which started with a thriller but ended in a damp squib.

There had been one shower much earlier in the day, but a brief downpour sent everyone scurrying from the field with West Indies trundling along and only ten balls needed for Duckworth-Lewis calculations to come into play. The mopping up was almost complete when a second squall brought the tarpaulins back, and soon after a third cloudburst was heavy enough to empty the stands and bring an early end to the night.

West Indies target whitewash

Match facts

Tuesday April 15 2008 Start time 14.30 (18.30 GMT)

Big picture

West Indies have secured the series after their back-to-back wins in Trinidad, one a last-ball thriller and the other a more comfortable success completed by the man-of-the-moment, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Marlon Samuels. It has been an uplifting couple of weeks for West Indies, following their series-levelling Test victory, and a whitewash of the one-dayers would set them up nicely for the ultimate challenge of facing Australia. For Sri Lanka it’s about salvaging pride from a tour that started so promisingly before fading away. They have clearly missed some of their experienced players, but no one ever said rebuilding a side would be easy.

West Indies target whitewash

Match facts

Tuesday April 15 2008 Start time 14.30 (18.30 GMT)

Big picture

West Indies have secured the series after their back-to-back wins in Trinidad, one a last-ball thriller and the other a more comfortable success completed by the man-of-the-moment, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Marlon Samuels. It has been an uplifting couple of weeks for West Indies, following their series-levelling Test victory, and a whitewash of the one-dayers would set them up nicely for the ultimate challenge of facing Australia. For Sri Lanka it’s about salvaging pride from a tour that started so promisingly before fading away. They have clearly missed some of their experienced players, but no one ever said rebuilding a side would be easy.

Chanderpaul and Samuels seal series for West Indies

samuelShivnarine Chanderpaul came to West Indies’ rescue for the second time in three days, cracking an unbeaten 52 to guide his side to a seven-wicket victory in Trindad that also won them the series.

It may not have matched Thursday for drama, but West Indies can be proud of dominating Sri Lanka for most of the day. Their bowlers, led by the increasingly mature Jerome Taylor, tied Sri Lanka in knots while the batsmen for once coped with the jolt of losing three early wickets. They cantered home in the end, but two hours beforehand the match was heading for a soggy conclusion as the clouds evacuated a torrent of rain on the Queen’s Park Oval. Such is the superb drainage at the ground that play was able to resume, though cricket’s favourite double act, Duckworth and Lewis, revised West Indies’ total to a rather generous 125 from 25 overs.

Sri Lanka need to forget near-miss

Match facts

Saturday, April 12, 2008 Start time 9.30am (13.30GMT)

Big picture

Sri Lanka had the opening one-dayer within their grasp before Shivnarine Chanderpaul took 10 off the final two balls from Chaminda Vaas. After the game, having had time to reflect, Mahela Jayawardene said he saw a lot of potential in his young team and there were plenty of encouraging performances. Even though West Indies came out on top, the first match left them with much to ponder. Their bowling lacked bite after the main three, while too many batsmen lost their wickets with poorly judged shots. They got away with it thanks to Chanderpaul, but that sort of rescue act won’t happen very often.

Chanderpaul clinches final-ball thriller

Shivnarine Chanderpaul carried West Indies to a thrilling final-ball one-wicket win in the first one-day international in Port of Spain after being left needing 10 off two deliveries. He responded with a straight drive before flicking a Chaminda Vaas full toss over deep midwicket to send the Trinidad crowd into wild celebrations.

An enthralling match had swung one way then the other before the final act. Sri Lanka recovered from 49 for 5 to post a competitive total with Chamara Kapugedera hitting a career-best 95 in a record sixth-wicket stand of 159 with Chamara Silva. West Indies were well placed on 109 for 1 before Chris Gayle fell for 52, and when Dwayne Bravo was run out the lower-order was exposed. Sri Lanka appeared to have done enough, but Chanderpaul had other ideas.

Sri Lanka press faith in youth

The big picture

West Indies’ comeback at the Queen’s Park Oval to square the Test series 1-1 has set up the three-match one-day series perfectly. It would be premature to tag either side as the favourites, looking at their recent run of form. West Indies have the opportunity to regain lost pride as a one-day team and stage a comeback after a disappointing tour of South Africa, in which they lost the ODI series 5-0. Sri Lanka too have slipped as a one-day team, losing at home to England and being eliminated before the finals in the CB Series in Australia. However, they’ve proved that they are a dangerous side in the West Indies, finishing runners-up in the World Cup last year. They’ve rested Muttiah Muralitharan for the one-dayers and will bank on a few fresh faces to come good.

Three Tests are better than two: captains

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene and West Indies captain Chris Gayle have bemoaned the length of their side’s current Test series taking in the Caribbean.

The two opposing captains favour three-Test series instead of the two-Test format in which their sides were currently engaged.

Sri Lanka lead the series 1-0, following a 121-run victory in the opening Test at the Guyana National Stadium a fortnight ago, but Jayawardene reckons a longer series should have been scheduled in case of a stalemate if West Indies win the second Test at Queen’s Park Oval.

Sarwan ton helps WI square series

sarwanEach time West Indies or Sri Lanka took the upper hand in the second Test in Trinidad, the other team clawed back to bring the match into balance. It took an innings of exemplary application from Ramnaresh Sarwan to decisively swing the closely-fought contest towards West Indies on the fourth day, and his partnership of 157 with Shivnarine Chanderpaul levelled the series, ensuring Sri Lanka’s quest for a maiden series triumph in the Caribbean remained unfulfilled. The six-wicket win was West Indies’ first at the Queen’s Park Oval since 2000.

Dilshan-Silva century stand rescues Sri Lanka

An unbroken stand of 100 for the sixth wicket between Tillakeratne Dilshan and Chamara Silva helped Sri Lanka recover on the rain-marred opening day of the second and final Test against West Indies here on Thursday.

Dilshan was unbeaten on 58 and Silva was not out on 37, as Sri Lanka, sent in to bat, reached 217 for five in their first innings when bad light stopped play 20.3 overs early on the opening day at Queen’s Park Oval.

In between three breaks for rain, Sri Lanka were struggling on 117 for five, but Silva joined Dilshan, and they punished wayward West Indies bowling to put their side back on track.